I LOVE Strava!

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A friend of mine is training for a 5k in February and she texted me the other day to ask me what I used to keep me motivated to run. I know most people like to use Map My Run, which I have nothing against, but I really found an awesome app to use.  I immediately told her to download Strava Run (and for you bikers out there, Strava Bike). My husband and I are very competitive people and like to have goals to achieve whether it is going against other people or even ourselves.  Mike was the one to show me this app and now I am hooked!

The best thing about Strava Run is that it pretty much is going against yourself (unless you find a course that someone else has run and documented).  In my case, my neighborhood has a perfect loop that you can run a perfect 5k.  I run this about once or twice a week and it will tell me whether I beat any previous records I set. Mike likes to run a loop at NMSU where other runners have recorded their times, so he can see his records along with others.

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I like how it shows how my pace was (I was running with the stroller this day) and how I started off faster and then got slower with my pace.  That tells me that I need to pick up the pace at mile 2 and 3.

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When you finish a run, it will show your overall pace, calorie burn, elevation gain, and moving time.  The moving time is especially good for those times you are standing at the beginning trying to get the music started on your headphones.

Here’s where the competitive part comes in.  On this particular bike ride, I noticed I had a Queen of the Mountain when I was done.  This means that the people who rode before me had a slower time.

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You then click on the trophy and it will tell you the time you did it in and the other times of the other riders.  You can add friends (and enemies..hehe) and see an activity feed of their rides.  I love looking at what other people did to keep me motivated!

You should try it out!  It’s really a great app!

Aguirre Springs Ride

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Since the weather has been completely awesome here (I apologize to the people back East), Mike and I have been out riding as much as possible.  We took off to Aguirre Springs on Saturday for some major hill climbing.

We like to park on the opposite side of the Organ Mountains and then bike up the pass over into the Aguirre Spring campground area.

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I always forget how terrible I am at downhill biking.  You never really think about that, but when there are major hills I clam up and think about the fact that I am going really fast and could be part of the asphalt if I don’t play it right.  I had to keep stopping because I was developing the “crab claw”, which is from holding your brakes so tight that you can’t let go.  I hate to say it but I’ve had the “crab claw” before during races too.

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I don’t think you can tell in this picture, but this downhill is intense once you make it to the highest point of the loop.  The whole loop from where we parked on the other side of the mountain is about 15 miles.  The inner loop, which is very steep, is about 4 miles.

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If you look closely in this picture, on the left hand side towards the top, you can see your destination.  Just take my word for it, it is a big climb.  My Strava totalled about 2600 feet in climbing.

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This guy came along with me and decided to show me up and do three loops around the hard part of the course.

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It’s a good thing I like him 🙂

On the climb back to where I was picked up, I felt pretty great because the climbing is very gradual.  I even made a Queen of the Mountain on the final ascent!

I totally recommend this ride for strengthening hill climbing skills.  I did this ride right before my first road race in 2011 and it definitely prepared me for it.

Holiday Weight Gain

I felt so accomplished when Thanksgiving went by without a single pound of weight gain.  I think it really helped that Mike and I had a triathlon to train for the week after, and also the fact that we ran a 5k on the day of Thanksgiving.  We also went to a buffet instead of having the post Thanksgiving day food laying around the house.  Then Christmas and New Years happened…

It could have been the cookies, the egg nog, cinnamon rolls, and other sinful treats that pretty much ruined any momentum we had to our diet.  Both Mike and I have weighed in this week and have gotten to the “angry phase” of dieting where you are so mad at yourself for getting to where you are.

TRY THIS!

Needless to say, we have been trying to eat right all week and working out every single day!  I have been making smoothies left and right!  Here is my favorite recipe:

Liz’s Awesome Blueberry Smoothie

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1/2-1/4 c of almond milk

1/4 c spinach

1/4 c blueberries

1/4 c yogurt

Sonic ice (2.49 a bag)

add chia seeds for more substance

We are loving the Sonic ice! It blends so much better and works well with small blenders (like the Baby Bullet…don’t hate).

WORKOUT

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I tried this treadmill workout today from www.fitsugar.com. Loving the treadmill workouts lately!

We All Can’t Be Good At Being Antisocial, Right?

Today was definitely one of those days that I needed.  I’ve had something to do every day this week and found I needed a little “me” time, which meant I actually had time to read a book (which I haven’t done in YEARS) and take the dog and kid to the park. I woke up around 6 with LO, made some breakfast, and then started gutting the garage to fit all of our Christmas stuff that magically doubled this year.

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I came across this little gem today while I was scrolling through Facebook during my “me” time.  I was cracking up about the whole “Antisocial” thing for New Mexico because I was totally feeling like that this week.  I thought it was some kind of joke!  Really though. Ever since I’ve had Olivia, I’ve become MAJORLY antisocial. Sometimes it’s just easier to not make plans than to make plans and cancel them because your kid is being fussy right? Plus, I hate to say it, there aren’t a lot of things to do here in Las Cruces, especially in the winter time.

CHECK THIS OUT

So I LOVE the blog www.pbfingers.com and read it almost every day.  I came across it a few years ago when I was trying out some quick, healthy recipe that I wanted to make.  She is my hero for a few reasons: she quit her job to work from home, she loves Les Mills’ BODY PUMP just as much as I do, she lives in Florida (my dream), she certified to be a fitness instructor, and also has some really good workouts listed on her blog.

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Thursdays are my gym days so I did one of her Treadmill Workouts, which was titled “No Joke Walking Workout“.  It seriously was no joke!  Mind you that a pace of 4 seems like nothing, but it actually is a brisk walk. When you start to max out the incline, you feel like you are going to fall off!  I saw a friend of mine at the gym and wanted to say hello while I was doing the workout, but I had to focus so much I couldn’t even give a smile. Again, going with the whole antisocial vibe…

TRAINING

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Since I always need something to train for to keep me on track, I thought I would let you guys know that I am coming back to the mountain bike world.  On February 1st, I will be racing the 12 Hours Of Old El Paso with Mike and his brothers on a co-ed team.  I am super excited because it has been almost two years since I have done a 12 hour race. This course is super windy and has some great hill climbs.  The people who put it on are super organized and lot of fun.

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It feels good to be back in the saddle again.  I’ve missed you mountain bike world.

Strava and Other Motivators

I am SLOWLY shedding the pounds as I prepare for my race in October (details will come soon).  Not breastfeeding really took a toll on my weight loss goals, because I know it helps to shed pounds faster, so I had to step it up!  Thankfully, I have a husband who watches the baby while I work out and family that watches Olivia on nights when Mike and I go out to work out together. When I do go to the gym, I make sure to do at least an hour of cardio. I really like using the Arc Trainer at Planet Fitness.

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Yesterday, I upped the incline on it and it gives you a full body workout, especially the legs.  I highly recommend going from 40-60 minutes on it. I was reading that you really don’t get a fat burning workout until you hit at least 30 minutes, therefore anything after that will be gold!

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I LOVE Strava.  I know it has been around a while, but I highly recommend this app for your phone, computer, IPAD, etc.  The competitive person that I am is perfect for this.

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On Tuesday nights, we have been going on the Tuesday Night Rides (just like old times).  I slowly have started going on the beginning trails.  Each week I record my rides and race my previous times, as well as other times that people have posted using Strava.  I love trying to break records!

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I missed the trail.  I missed the downhill and the feeling you get after a good ride! It feels so good to be back on the bike!

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Last but not least….RUNNING. I have to step up my running for a race I am doing in October.  I am currently up to three miles, when I do run.  I have been running at least two or three times a week.  It has been so hot outside so the treadmill has been my friend. I managed to get Olivia up on Saturday morning to take her for my first run outside the neighborhood. Las Cruces has added an awesome running and biking trail around town.  I was able to do a quick two-mile run along that trail.  Olivia was a champ!

The Light At The End of the Tunnel

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39 weeks!  We made it to the final week before baby girl is born!  Mike and I have been a little impatient with little one coming.  We totally thought we would have her early, but that is not the case.  If I don’t have her by Friday, we may have to talk about induction!

There have been many suggestions on how to induce labor and one of them is to get regular exercise.  Thankfully I have a membership to the gym, so I made this workout for the week.  When I am on the treadmill, I put it on incline about 1.5 and keep my speed at about 2.5.  I am loving the weights.  It makes me feel like less of a marshmallow and tones out those arms and legs!

By the way, if you are impatient about your baby coming, here are some suggestions on how to naturally INDUCE labor according to my midwives:

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Personally, I don’t believe it works.  I think the baby comes when it wants to, but people swear by it.  I think it is some kind of conspiracy that the midwives came up with so that crazy nine month pregnant ladies don’t lose it.  We have been doing this since 38 weeks and NOTHING.

But hey, I still do it anyway.  Doesn’t hurt to try!